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Sevenoaks - the past in pictures

Discussion in 'Sevenoaks History' started by Hopgarden Press, Oct 29, 2010. Replies: 2 | Views: 10033

  1. Hopgarden Press

    Hopgarden Press New Member


    Concentrating mainly on the latter half of the twentieth-century and containing over one hundred photographs – many selected from local historian, Edwin Thompson’s collection – ‘Sevenoaks the Past in Pictures’ is the first in an occasional series presenting a pictorial record of the town. Each selected subject has been given a carefully researched introduction and every photograph is accompanied by an informative caption. Join us on our first journey of discovery into Sevenoaks’ past.
    Published by Hopgarden Press info@hopgardenpress.co.uk and available now from the Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High Street, Sevenoaks TN13 1XJ T: 01732 452055 priced £8.50.
  2. Sevenoaks

    Sevenoaks Member

    I was born in Sevenoaks and lived in a flat in the High Street for the first 25 years of my life.
    I always walked to school; it wasn't far. First to St Nicholas Infants in the London Road, then to the old Lady Boswells (now a Mexican) and finally through Upper High Street to Sevenoaks School.
    My first full time job was a reporter with the Sevenoaks News and, many years later, I was editor of the Chronicle.
    During my 70-odd years in this town I saw all the post-war changes.
    How the urban and rural councils reorganised themselves into the one gargantuan corporation we know today, how our delightful speciality shops were driven out of town by the supermarkets and how new sites were found for the post office, police and fire stations.
    I watched and, in many cases listened to, the arguments over the 'new town plan' centred around Blighs Meadow. It raged on and on for years. I saw, in the 1960s, historic buildings such as the White House, Redman's Place, Walnut Tree House and The Grey House, demolished 'in the name of progress'. I could go on.
    This week I took a nostalgic trip back to the town I once knew and loved. And for that I am indebted to Ed Thompson and Philip Clucas who have published a book of more than 100 photographs, entitled Sevenoaks – The Past in Pictures. Those who buy it – and it is available at Sevenoaks Bookshop – will be taken on a pictorial journey back into life of bygone Sevenoaks.
    Although I worked closely with the photographers at the Chronicle, and have my own picture collection, there are many images I have never seen before, including one of my old house with ladies in dresses walking alongside cyclists and scooter riders and not a yellow line in sight.
    I liked the picture of children in the playground at Cobden Road, the boys from Wildernesse taking their cycling proficiency test and photographs of shops that have disappeared.
    Remember The Spinning Disk, La Cabana coffee bar, Pain and Powell chemist and that row of shops in the narrow part of the High Street which were acquired for a 'widening scheme' that never materialised – Wrights, Eastmans, Mac Fisheries and David Greig?
    Ed and Philip take us to the old bus station and to the railway station with the Sennocke and the Railway and Bike hotels looking busy and proud. A C-class locomotive takes on water before releasing steam while a modern electric waits silently to depart on the 'up slow'.

    [Read more from Bob Ogley in the Sevenoaks Chronicle]
  3. David Weller

    David Weller New Member

    Following on from Bob Ogley's item, I am wondering if there any of us oldies left who went to the Wilderness School when it opened in September 1950? I was part of the first intake and was in class 1, when the classes were numbered 1 to 4 (first year) 5 to 8 (second year and 9 and 10 (15 year olds) and class 11 for the leavers in that year. The next year, 1951, the classes were reorganised to be class 3.1 to class 3.4, 4.1 to 4.4 and then the 15 year olds were class 5.1 and 5.2. 16 year olds were in class 6. I became the form Captain of class 3.1 (why, I don't know) and then left in 1952 to go to the Tunbridge Wells Technical School, something that left Fred Streeter enraged, as he said that his school was very capable of providing all the education and opportunities that we could ask for .,.
    I have a school photo showing the whole school student population on the stage in the assembly hall, undated but will need to be either 1951 or 1952, as I am there in the from row. Does anybody remember the earliest times of the Wilderness School?

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